Jim Keifer, 73, passed away in his home on Sunday, June 21st after several lengthy illnesses. He was born in Richmond, Indiana on February 22, 1947, to Paul and Virginia Keifer. He lived in Richmond all his life, other than his college years.
Jim graduated from Richmond High School in 1965. He graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in 1969 with a degree in business administration and economics. He married Mary on July 30, 1977, and enjoyed having two of his college friends, who were ordained ministers, officiate the ceremony.
Jim formerly worked as an industrial engineer and in real estate. He was the proudest of being a stay-at-home father with his children. He began a lawn mowing business when his children were in school.
He was a past member of the Jaycees, Kiwanis Club, YMCA, Indiana High School Athletic Association, Eastern Indiana Officials Association and on the board of Lutherania Cemetery. He was a current member of First English Lutheran Church and Forest Hills Country Club.
Jim looked forward to and enjoyed RHS class of ’65 reunions and get-togethers. He followed Richmond sports. He was a high school basketball referee for many years until his knee problems prohibited him from running up and down the court. He kept his love and interest of basketball by evaluating officials for the IHSAA and enjoyed being the color commentator for the radio broadcast of Red Devil Basketball. He had his debut in the movie business when he had a brief showing as a referee in the movie Hoosiers. They even stopped filming at one point to bring a chair out on the basketball court and cut Jim’s hair to look more appropriate for that time period.
Jim enjoyed writing. He wrote a sports column for his college newspaper. He wrote and published a fictional book about basketball in Indiana titled Just One More Shot.
Jim loved the Cincinnati Reds and fondly remembered going to the games since he was young. He backed his Reds whether they were winning or losing. He collected sports cards, autographs, and campaign buttons.
Jim is survived by his wife of nearly 43 years, Mary (Rice) Keifer; two daughters, Emily (John) Renschler of Ft. Pierce, FL; Molly Keifer of Jacksonville, FL; and son, Danny (fiancée Jessica Valiyi) of Nashville, TN; grandson Luke Daniel Renschler; and sister Paula (Larry) Fisher. He is also survived by nephews, nieces, cousins, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. He leaves behind a special long-time friend, Bill Denny.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Virginia Keifer.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Hand-in-Hand Adult Day Care for their kindness and support, the nurses and technicians at Fresenius Kidney Care for their patience and sense of humor, the Richmond Fire Department for their assistance, Reid Hospice Care (especially Julie and Lyndsey) for months of caring for Jim, and special friends and neighbors who have been so supportive.
Services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (June 27, 2020) in First English Lutheran Church (2525 East Main Street). Pastors John Walker and Chip Belanga will officiate. Burial will follow in Lutherania Cemetery. Friends may call at Riggle-Waltermann Mortuary on Friday (June 26, 2020) from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hand-in-Hand Adult Day Care, 2727 East Main St, Richmond, IN 47374, First English Lutheran Church, 2727 East Main St, Richmond, IN 47374 or Reid Foundation for the Hospice Program, 1100 Reid Parkway, Richmond, IN 47374.